Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

Local News

February 18, 2014

Burglary cash thought to buy drugs

BROOKVILLE – Thanks to the efforts of Batesville police officers, a burglary case involving thousands of dollars was solved and four Batesville area citizens were brought to justice.

On Aug. 31, 2011, Benito Lopez, Arlington Drive, reported the theft of $20,000 from a safe he had in his residence, according to a probable cause affidavit filed in Franklin Circuit Court Oct. 5, 2011.

Officers began an investigation and learned that from Dec. 20, 2010, to Jan. 10, 2011, Lopez and his family were on vacation in Mexico, and on Jan. 13, 2011, the homeowner discovered the safe’s lock broken and money missing.

Around Dec. 30, 2010, several teens broke into the home over two days, the document stated. One of them had dated the homeowner’s daughter. The first night, jewelry and other valuables were taken. The second night, someone found the key to the safe and opened it. “These kids got their hands on tens of thousands of dollars in cash,” said Chris Huerkamp, Franklin County chief deputy prosecuting attorney, Feb. 11, as he reminisced about the case with Batesville police Chief Stan Holt and Assistant Chief Mike Benjamin. “It was overwhelming .... (and) they started putting it wherever they could in their coats.”

Then “they blew it all on drugs .... and lived like rock stars, having hotel parties and going on shopping sprees,” he revealed.

To explain where they received this fortune, the teens made up a story about winning the lottery, the affidavit said.

Holt pointed out, “One of the things that helps us out is usually when teens are involved in crimes, it’s too good to keep it quiet.” They tell their friends and the word spreads quickly. “It took a little longer this time, but it did surface.

“We have a team approach on working these cases, and I think we have a good working relationship with young people and adults in the community.”

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